All eyes on Kirlampudi as deadline for padayatra nears

The police and Kapu JAC leaders are all set for a showdown in East Godavari district as the deadline for the “Chalo Amaravati” padayatra, announced by the former Minister and Kapu leader Mudragada Padmanabham, nears.

About 6,000 police personnel have been deployed in the district, of which half of the force is deployed in the Kapu leader’s native village of Kirlampudi.

Superintendent of Police Vishal Gunni made it clear that the police were not going to allow the padayatra at any cost, and would not allow any rallies or meetings in the district as Section 144 has been in force.

Mr. Gunni told The Hindu they have drawn two companies of Rapid Action Force, Armed Reserve Force and civil police from West Godavari and Visakhapatnam districts. He put the number of police personnel manning different places in the district at 5,800.

He said 90 check-posts had been set up in the district, where sub-inspectors were posted with body-worn cameras.

On the other hand, women in Gollaprolu, Amalapuram Rural and Mummidivaram performed special pujas in local temples for the success of the padayatra.

Kapu leaders’ charge

Kapu JAC leaders Akula Ramakrishna, Vasireddy Yesudasu, Areti Prakas and Gowthu Swami, addressing presspersons at Mr. Padmanabham’s residence in Kirlampudi on Monday, alleged that the police were out to brand the Kapu community as anti-social elements, and were not allowing free entry to the family members of Mr. Padmanabham.

They said the police had set up check-posts from Srikakulam to Chittoor to prevent Kapus from attending the padayatra. The Kapu leaders claimed that their leader never called his community to come to streets and create nuisance, but police the police were entering into a confrontation with the Kapus.

Hanumantha Rao held

Senior Congress leader V. Hanumantha Rao was taken into custody at Dowleswaram Barrage in Rajamahendravaram on Monday when he was travelling towards Kirlampudi to meet Mr. Padmanabham. Mr. Rao had a verbal exchange with police for not allowing him to proceed to Kirlampudi.

He squatted on the road and expressed his protest. Later, he was shifted to Dowleswaram police station.

Notices to leaders

Guntur Staff Reporter writes:

The Guntur police are gearing up to face any eventuality. Following intelligence reports that leaders from Guntur district are likely to mobilise men, vehicles on a large scale, the police are taking no chances and have warned community leaders of stringent action.

From conducting mock drills to serving notices on local leaders, the police are leaving no stone unturned to thwart mobilisation of people. The police have reportedly served notices on 1,000 leaders across the district.

Deputy Inspector General KVV Gopala Rao said prohibitory orders have been put in place under Section 144 Cr.P.C and Section 30 of thr Police Act.

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